Educational platform

21 October 2014–30 May 2015

New World Academy #5: Stateless Democracy

New World Academy #5: Stateless Democracy unfolds as a nomadic learning platform over an extended period of time. Its inaugural session takes place on Tuesday, 21 October 2014, at 19.30 hrs in the form of a conference titled Stateless Democracy: The Revolution in Rojava Kurdistan at De Balie, Amsterdam.

The fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) has often been portrayed as a fight between the West and its Arab allies against Islamic ultra-fundamentalists. Over the last several years, however, a progressive Kurdish-led resistance has been forming in Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan) amidst the Syrian Civil War. The resistance has successfully implemented new models of grassroots democracy, gender equality, and sustainable ecology—its members practicing a political project they refer to as Democratic Confederalism. Women and men stand side-by-side in its armed forces in the face of both ISIS and the Bashar al-Assad regime. Despite the resistance’s efforts, Rojava is currently threatened by a massacre, and the international community continues to stand by silently as tragedy unfolds.

New World Academy (NWA) is an educational platform that invites stateless political organizations to exchange with artists and students on the role of art and culture in political struggle. It is established by artist Jonas Staal in collaboration with BAK and functions as a department of the New World Summit, an artistic and political organization dedicated to developing parliaments for organizations banned from democracy. This fifth session of NWA, titled Stateless Democracy, is brought to life with the Kurdish Women’s Movement. Unlike the previous four sessions, NWA #5 is envisioned as a nomadic platform that unfolds over an extended period of time and is realized in collaboration with various individual and institutional partners in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and internationally.

Program

education program
21.10.2014
New World Academy #5: Stateless Democracy: The Revolution in Rojava Kurdistan

book launch
30.05.2015, 20.30 hrs
New World Academy Reader #5: Stateless Democracy

congress
15.–16.10.2015
New World Summit, Rojava

education program
12.–15.01.2016
New World Academy #5: Stateless Democracy

In collaboration with

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Forensic Justice

Forensic Justice is an exhibition and a series of public programs with Forensic Architecture, a London-based independent and interdisciplinary research agency comprised of, among others, artists, scientists, lawyers, filmmakers, and architects.

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Exhibition

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Discursive, Exhibition, Publication

11 January–01 March 2009

The Return of Religion and Other Myths

The Return of Religion and Other Myths is a large-scale multifaceted project, consisting of the exhibition The Art of Iconoclasm, a discourse program taking place in early 2009 titled On Post-Secularism, and the publication of a BAK Critical Reader on the subject in 2009. The project explores the popular assumption of the return of religion to the public sphere, contemporary politics, and the media in the West as a constitutive “myth.”

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Learning

10 February–31 March 2009

Curating (Beyond) Exhibitions: Critical Curatorial Practices and Contemporary Society

Master course organized by Utrecht University and BAK. The course, structured as a series of lectures and seminars, explores the dynamic field of curating vis-ŕ-vis the challenges that artistic and intellectual practices are presented with by contemporary society, and takes the year 1989—which marks the end of the Cold War—as a starting point from which to explore the practice of curating.

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